Good news, everyone. Well, everyone that isn’t an Astros fan – Houston is once again back to being the worst team in baseball. The Mariners have won two in a row to push themselves to a .409 winning percentage, the Diamondbacks have won three straight to get themselves up to .308, and the lowly Astros have lost three straight to fall to .292 with an AL-worst -51 run differential. Don’t get too excited, though – the Cubs have lost three straight and are right behind Houston and Arizona in the race to be the most awful.
Game of the Night: White Sox 9, Rays 6. I think you know what’s coming by now when I post a final score like that. In the ninth, with the game deadlocked at four, Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer off of Matt Lindstrom to give Tampa Bay a 6-4 lead. Grant Balfour came on for the save in the bottom of the inning and was awful, forcing Alexei Ramirez to fly out to start the inning before allowing a double and a pair of walks, loading the bases for Adam Eaton. Eaton grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate a run and make it 6-5, and Balfour promptly walked Marcus Semien to load the bases for Jose Abreu. Abreu launched a walk off grand slam to give Chicago a stunning victory and dash the hopes of the Rays.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Yordano Ventura pitched the Royals to a 5-0 win over the Orioles, allowing seven hits over eight shutout innings, walking a pair and punching out eight. Josh Beckett had a nice start for the Dodgers in their 5-4, 11 inning loss to the Rockies, giving up two runs on four hits in eight innings, striking out eight without a walk. Stephen Strasburg looked “back” in Washington’s 11-1 smashing of San Diego, allowing seven hits over seven scoreless frames, walking a pair and punching out 11. Josh Collmenter pitched effectively for Arizona in their 5-4 win over the Phillies, allowing four hits in six shutout innings, striking out five without a walk. Jake Peavy pitched well for Boston in their 8-1 win over Toronto, giving up one run on five hits in seven innings, walking a pair and striking out seven. Tim Hudson allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out five en route to a 5-1 Giants win over the Indians.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Chicago’s new star Jose Abreu went 3/5 with two homers and six RBI in the White Sox victory over the Rays. Erick Aybar starred for the Angels in a 13-1 thrashing of the Yankees, going 4/5 with a double, a homer, four runs, and three RBI. Jackie Bradley Jr. was the star that stirred Boston’s offensive drink in Toronto, going 3/4 with two doubles, a triple, two runs, an RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. Anthony Rendon spurred the Nationals’ win over the Padres, going 4/5 with a double, two runs, two RBI, and a stolen base. Torii Hunter put the Twins on blast in Detroit’s 10-6 win, going 3/5 with two doubles, two runs, and two RBI. Aaron Hill broke his cold streak in Arizona’s win over Philly, going 2/4 with a double, a homer, and three RBI.
Other Games: The Mets earned a 4-3 walk off win over the Marlins. The Braves hung on to beat the Reds 5-4. The Brewers continued rolling, beating the Cubs 5-2. The Cardinals shut out the offensively-challenged Pirates 1-0. The A’s slammed the Astros 12-5 thanks to a seven run ninth inning. The Mariners rallied late to beat the Rangers 6-5.
What You Missed: Longest homers of the week. The transfer rule is dead. A recap of Texas League action in April. No one cares that Robinson Cano and the Mariners stink. Miguel Montero is defending his GM and blaming his teammates. The zombie apocalypse is heading to the minor leagues.
Today’s Games: Andrew Cashner starts for the Padres in Washington. Clay Buchholz and Brandon Morrow will square off in a battle of struggling studs in Toronto. Anibal Sanchez starts for the Tigers in Minnesota. Francisco Liriano gets the nod for the Pirates in St. Louis. Cliff Lee will toe the rubber for the Phillies in Arizona. Felix Hernandez and the Mariners host the Rangers.
National TV: Angels-Yankees(1 PM, Fox Sports 1), Pirates-Cardinals (4 PM, Fox Sports 1), Reds-Braves (7 PM, MLB Network), Rays-White Sox (7 PM, MLB Network)
MLB.tv Free Game: Padres-Nationals (1 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.